Exeter Chiefs 28 Worcester Warriors 11.

WORCESTER Warriors were overpowered but not overawed by the Exeter juggernaut on Saturday.

With Chiefs on a roll it was always going to be a huge ask for Warriors to stop them in their tracks at Sandy Park.

And so it proved as the power-packed hosts motored to a fifth straight Premiership victory.

The rolling maul was Exeter's first choice of weapon as hooker Jack Yeandle touched down from a catch-and-drive before using the pick and go to devastating effect with flanker Dave Ewers striking twice and prop Harry Williams grabbing the other.

But as much as this was a test of Warriors’ brute strength this was an examination of their strength of character.

Aside from last season’s shock 6-5 victory, Warriors have taken some heavy beatings by Rob Baxter’s side over the years.

And at 21-3 down at half-time Worcester could have been flattened once again.

But they hung tough, like they did at Sale Sharks a few weeks ago, and threatened to maintain their record of picking up at least a point from every game.

Experienced full-back Chris Pennell landed his second penalty of the afternoon before impressive young flanker Ted Hill, who was elevated to the starting line-up for the first time, notched his third try in two games.

But Williams’ late pushover score inflicted a fourth defeat in five matches for Worcester who host Bristol Bears next Sunday (3pm).

The clash with Chiefs was also a test of Warriors’ strength in depth as boss Alan Solomons made six changes to the side that defeated Leicester Tigers 44-37 at Welford Road last weekend.

With Bryce Heem (groin), Francois Venter (collarbone), Nick Schonert (dead leg), Sam Lewis (hip) and Pierce Phillips (thumb) all ruled out, Perry Humphreys, Ashley Beck, Gareth Milasinovich, Hill and Darren Barry took their places respectively.

Jono Lance was also handed the number 10 shirt, replacing Duncan Weir who was sat on the bench nursing a dead leg.

And Warriors got off to a decent start as memories of February’s win at Exeter came flooding back on 18 minutes when Pennell struck home a penalty.

Exeter, known for their ability to keep hold of the ball, were making many uncharacteristic mistakes in the opening stages but still scored the first try on 24 minutes.

A badly sliced kick into touch from a hobbling Josh Adams who later left the field through injury and a mistake at the line-out from Barry saw Exeter set up a maul and power over the try-line with Yeandle on the hand to ground the ball. Gareth Steenson added the extras.

Great cover tackles from Humphreys and Barry kept Alex Cuthbert and Ollie Devoto at bay but Chiefs’ pressure told in the final seven minutes of the first period.

Ewers had too much power from close range as he smashed his way through Barry to score his first before using all his strength to bag a second on the stroke of half-time. Steenson converted both to put Chiefs in control.

The home side’s dominance in the scrum led Solomons to replace his props with Callum Black and Milasinovich making way for Ryan Bower and Simon Kerrod.

Pennell dispatched another three pointer before Humphreys and Beck combined brilliantly down the left.

After Lance went close the ball was recycled to Hill who powered over. Pennell’s kick hit the post.

With the deficit cut to 10 points both teams struggled to click in attack while 19-year-old centre Ollie Lawrence was brought on by Warriors for his Premiership debut.

But Worcester found life difficult at the set-piece and once Bower was sin-binned for collapsing the scrum Exeter sealed victory. Following a sustained period of pressure Williams burrowed over and Steenson improved it with the conversion.